11 February will go down in history as a day to mark the beginning of the next Egypt. As I wrote in my previous post, this is the beta period for Egypt 2.0. With former President Mubarak (that sounds strange, doesn’t it?) en route to Sharm el Sheikh, the bonds of “emergency rule” have been broken after 30 years, and the Army is in control of the country’s affairs while a transition takes place.
Today’s demonstration has been won with hugs and kisses, not stones and rockets. That much is encouraging. An absolutely jubilant and electrifying scene in Tahrir Square is wonderful to see and inspiring for the world to share. I can hardly catch my breath for the splendour of it all.
However, there’s an important period to come. And this could be the most important six or seven months in recent human history. Will Egypt usher in a new era of peace and representative democracy, or will there be a subversive shift to non-secular leadership, in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood? Either route will have seismic effects on the world – economically, politically and culturally.
Continuing our de facto marketing plan for Egypt, the next phase will demand strategies. And today’s events clearly demonstrate how quickly circumstances can change the needs and parameters of formulating strategies.
3 Viable Marketing Strategies for Egypt:
Build the market approach:
Egypt has the opportunity to become the first modern Middle Eastern country to espouse a true democracy. In a “build the market” strategy, Egypt can lay out the blueprints for creating new channels of peace and prosperity, new methods for promotion and new areas of citizenry exploration.
Pleasant side-effect #1: this astonishing moment could lead to other countries whose people are oppressed (either overtly or tacitly) doing the same and using the Egypt (read: peaceful) blueprint for regime transition.
Pleasant side-effect #2: The entire process took roughly 18 days through mostly peaceful revolution – this itself is a model to be admired.
Target a position on the world stage as a major player in global affairs. This means contributing to global causes as much as it means benefitting from them. Egypt is a logical and strategically desirable bridge between the West and East. This is a position no other country (Middle Eastern or otherwise) could feasibly occupy. For the citizens of the country, this competitive advantage could mean major benefits, particularly economic reforms and human rights reforms. Today, the Egyptian people have earned the right to benefit from everything life has to offer, no longer through a filter of heavy-handed government rule.
Pleasant side-effect: competition is good. It could lead other countries to strive for equal representation, it could lead other countries to begin offering their core competencies for the benefit of global advance. Yummy.
Become the modern example for tolerance and non-secular rule as a model for the rest of the middle East, and the world. We have seen all too often how unfair rule and ill-conceived revolution can gain airtime on the global stage. Think Rwanda, Darfur, the former Yugoslavia and so many others. This is an opportunity to take up a central cause, (collective emancipation?) commit to a central mission, rally support and effect real change for real people. Not the stuff the talking heads are spouting, but ACTUAL human rights, ACTUAL representation, ACTUAL opportunity. Wow. Could be the best strategy yet.
Pleasant side-effect: with a visible cause strategy, Egypt can help change misperceptions around the world about all Arabs being lumped in a “them” category. Wouldn’t that be something?